As an umbrella organization representing more than 30 associations focused on meetings and conventions, the Events Industry Council, formerly the Convention Industry Council, has its ear to the ground. At a recent EIC meeting, members discussed changes in the industry, new tech trends, and the current political scene, emerging with five top trends that event professionals should watch closely in the year ahead.
We’ve paired EIC’s commentary on the five key trends with articles from MeetingsNet and other sources, giving you a deeper dive into the challenges your organizations and this industry face.
Safety and Security
EIC: “From natural disasters to acts of terrorism, risk management is a topic that weighs heavy on the minds of many. Given the state of national security around the globe, it is imperative that the events industry concentrates on efforts to ensure the safety of attendees. In this regard, the International Association for Venue Managers, an Events Industry Council member, is currently developing a safety and security designation and guidelines for convention centers to meet Department of Homeland Security accreditation. In addition, the Events Industry Council’s own APEX initiative has formed a work group to develop additional resources for meeting professionals to become more educated and proactive on safety issues.”
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• 3 Cybersecurity Questions You Need to Answer Now
• MPI Announces Risk Management Certificate and New IACC Alliance
EIC: “The challenge of finding employees with the right set of soft skills to work with customers is one that seems to be evergreen. And as Millennials become the largest generation in the U.S. labor force, that challenge accelerates as these individuals carry with them a high level of personal expectations and different learning styles. Those who can effectively match such expectations will be rewarded with highly engaged and upwardly mobile employees.”
• 9 Effective Ways to Engage Millennials at Your Events
• Do You Have What It Takes to Go From Planning to the C-Suite?
• 10 Easy Ways to Make Your Meeting a Millennial Magnet
• Why Soft Skills Matter and the Top 3 You Need
Advancing the Event Profession
EIC: “The fear of declining relevance is constant, as is the ability to provide consistent ROI. Those looking to take this profession to a new level are looking at a range of different solutions, from artificial intelligence to augmented reality. While technology can appear to be pulling people away from personal connections and face-to-face interactions, these tools do change the way people consume content and engage with others. Those who can effectively strike the right balance will help advance the profession.”
• Are You Ready for the 5 Technology Pillars of Disruption?
• Meetings Get Real—and then Some—with Virtual and Augmented Reality Technology
The Impact of U.S. Political Climate
EIC: “Here are a few questions to ponder: What effect does the global perception of the Unites States have on meeting attendees and delegates? And in what ways do legislative action within the U.S. impact where meetings are held and who attends them? These are two very real concerns for event professionals, not just in the U.S. but globally, showcasing the fact that now, perhaps more so than ever before, the political landscape will have a heavy influence on event planning.”
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Mergers & Acquisitions
EIC: “The business landscape in general continues to experience heavy merger and acquisition activity, a trend to which the events industry is not immune. Across the board, M&A activity continues to consolidate major players in the space—and the impact could be broad-based. For example, some members noted the fact that M&A activity continues to reduce membership within organizations, which could ultimately impact how events are planned and executed.”
• Massive Demand, Little Supply: How to Deal With the Economics of Meetings Today
• Marriott CEO Says More Hotel Mega-Mergers Are Likely
• As Mega Mergers Go Ahead in the Hotel Sector, What Does This All Mean for Brands?
• HNN’s Global Hotel Industry M&A List